Revolt in Assam, Maharashtra, Haryana, J&K, WB
Congress is passing through the toughest time. After being routed in general elections when it could not even manage the desired number for getting the post of Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, the leadership of the family is getting challenged from one after another State. There is revolt in Assam, Maharashtra, Haryana, J&K, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Uttarakhand. These developments have raised questions over the leadership of both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Political experts say this revolt may lead to Congress-mukta Bharat.
The next day it got a jolt when its long-time ally the National Conference snapped ties in Jammu & Kashmir, the Congress staggered into a crisis of sorts after two senior ministers in Maharashtra quit party-led governments in Maharashtra and Assam, respectively. While Maharashtra Industries Minister and long-time CM aspirant Narayan Rane's move was on expected lines, Assam Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s resignation marked the climax of a two-year-old rebellion against State Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
Sarma claimed he met the Governor alongwith 38 MLAs and expressed ‘no confidence’ in the CM. Assam goes to polls in less than two years. The rebel camp also announced that more ministers and parliamentary secretaries will resign soon. “It is not possible mentally, physically and politically” to work under Gogoi. Absolute madness prevails and there is no direction under Gogoi,” Sarma, once a right hand man of Gogoi and minister for the past 13 years said that continuing under Tarun Gogoi is not feasible politically, mentally and physically. “It is not advisable. That is why I decided to resign. I will also send my resignation to the chief minister,” he added.
In Mumbai, Narayan Rane, who had moved to the Congress from Shiv Sena in 2005, slammed Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan for ‘slackness’ in decision-making and said he did not want to be a ‘partner in defeat’ in the Assembly elections due later this year. He also expressed displeasure with Congress’ central leadership. “I was told I will be made CM in six months. But in nine years the promise has not been kept,” he said.
In J&K, ahead of Assembly polls, two-time MP and former State minister Lal Singh resigned from the party alleging senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad of interfering in the working of party's State unit. “I have left the party due to interference of Azad in the State Congress and denial of ticket in the recent Lok Sabha polls. I will not tolerate this,” Lal Singh told mediapersons. “The discipline, decorum and ideology of the party are not there in the Congress now. Therefore, I found it better to leave,” he said.
In West Bengal, the Congress suffered a further jolt as three of its MLAs joined the ruling Trinamool Congress. The three Congress MLAs who joined the TMC at the martyr's day rally are Asit Kumar Mal of Hansan, Md Ghulam Rabbani of Goalpokher and Umapada Bauri of Para assembly constituency.
This takes the total number of Congress MLAs who switched sides to the TMC since the 2011 Assembly poll to seven, thus reducing the strength of the over century-old party in the Assembly to 35 from 42. On it, former WBPCC president Manas Bhuniya said, “We need introspection and discussion on why they are going. It is possibly stemming from a feeling among these leaders as there is no future in Congress — both political and personal.”
In Haryana, the storm of revolts against Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is growing stronger in the run up to the Assembly election. Senior Congress leader Birender Singh is raising the banner of revolt against the Congress high command as this is no open secret that Hooda is close to 10 Janpath. -Pramod Kumar
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